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Mixed Reactions as FUFA Pushes Women Super League to Morning Hours

Ayubu Khalifa, the head coach of Kawempe Muslims, says that he would have no problem with playing in the morning if the game is live on TV. “We have no problem with playing in the morning if all games will be broadcasted live on Television. But what will demoralize people, is telling them to play in the morning, and yet their game is not going to be live on TV," Khalifa said.
Kampala queens players. courtesy picture
There are mixed reactions to the decision by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations –FUFA to reschedule the FUFA Women Super League (FWSL) matches for the morning hours. 

This follows a communication by the FUFA CEO,  CEO Edgar Watson issued on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, indicating the FUFA Women Super League matches will be played at 10:00 am as opposed to the usual 4 pm.

In his letter, Watson explained that the decision was taken to create enough air space to broadcast as many games as possible live on FUFA TV. “Following the evaluation and assessment of the current status of the FWS, considerable steps have been made to create enough media airtime for coverage of the league on Television. It has become necessary to review and adjust the FSWL fixtures with guidance from the marketing personnel recommendations accompanied by related internal instructions," part of the letter reads 

“Therefore, this communication serves to inform you that in order to facilitate and enable live coverage of the FWSL games on FUFA TV, the kickoff time of the FWSL matches has been adjusted to 10 am from 4 pm on the same fixtures and venues as hitherto presented”, the letter added. 

URN understands that FUFA TV will cover several leagues including regional leagues, FUFA Big league, and some Uganda Premier league games. FUFA thought will leave the Women's super league vulnerable hence revising its kickoff to create enough airtime for it.

However, the decision has elicited mixed responses from various stakeholders with many disagreeing with the decision made by the local soccer body. Godfrey Nsigwire, a communications officer at Lady Doves FC said it will be hard for their team to travel from Masindi to Kampala on time.

“Our team is in Masindi, sometimes our home games help us with gate collection that facilitates the team, but in the morning majority of our fans are busy with their work. So you can’t convince them to attend morning games," he said.

He explained that "Additionally, if it is an away game, it will be still hard for us to travel from Masindi to Kampala in case we are going to face a team from Kampala, so it is not favoring us at all." Fred Ndawula, the Makerere University Women Football team coach also opposed the decision citing the nature of the players he uses on his team.

“It comes with a lot of negatives, ideally it is not possible, for example, if we are to travel to play in Soroti, we set up in the morning if the game is to be played in the evening so that we get enough time to rest before kickoff. Ours is a school team so it is hard to let students who are also players miss two school days for just one match,” Ndawula said

On the contrary, Ayubu Khalifa, the head coach of Kawempe Muslims, says that he would have no problem with playing in the morning if the game is live on TV. “We have no problem with playing in the morning if all games will be broadcasted live on Television. But what will demoralize people, is telling them to play in the morning, and yet their game is not going to be live on TV," Khalifa said.

    

FUFA Women’s Super League 2022-23 season kicked off last week and all matches of day one game were played in the initial time. Four matches are set to be played on match day two this weekend. On Saturday Lady Doves will host Makerere University at Katushabe Grounds, Rines WFC will UCU Lady Cardinals at Kabaka Kyabaggu, and Asubo Gafford will battle Uganda Martyrs at Kampala Quality grounds while She Corporates will host Kampala Queens at Mubs ground in Nakawa on Sunday.

However, an official from FUFA who never wanted to be mentioned said there are ongoing discussions at the FUFA secretariat that might yield changes from the initial communication.